Does it float??

Posted by Jeff Warner on 6/29/2013 to How to articles
Does it float?

That's a question we've heard a lot around here in reference to our soft plastic baits. The short answer is: YES, they all float! But flotation is a little more complex than that. Let's take a closer look at the topic of flotation as it relates to XFactor Tackle soft plastic baits.

Flotation has limitations, a perfect example of this would be an inflatable raft. The raft in the picture below is rated for 4 people and/or a max weight limit of 880 lbs. Suppose you put 1200 lbs in that raft, how well do you think it will float?? Get the point?

Fishing soft plastic baits is a little less dramatic than the prospect of a sinking boat, but the same principle applies. So what's the limit, you ask? Here is a breakdown of our baits along with the best hook size to give you maximum flotation. Keep in mind, this article is mainly dealing with flotation as it relates to drift fishing for Salmon, Steelhead and Trout.

XFactor Tackle Bait

Hook for maximum flotation

Commonly Used Hook

Single Eggs



Mini Egg Clusters


#4 or #2

Medium Egg Clusters


#2 or #1

Large Egg Clusters


#1 or 1/0

6" Steelhead Slayers


1/0 or 2/0

4" Steelhead Slayers


#1 or 1/0

3" Miracle Worm



Shrimp Tail Teasers


#1 or 1/0

As you can see in the chart above, there are some pretty drastic differences between a hook that will give you maximum flotation and what people are using with good success. You may be thinking, how does that work? Does the bait sink or drift closer to the bottom of the river? The answer is NO! The reason is because of the current of the river. Think about it like this: if you are drift fishing a river that is flowing a bit on the high side and you try to drift it with a couple pieces of split shot, what happens? We all know that the swift current of the river will launch that split shot right down stream, never allowing it to come even close to the bottom of the river. Obviously, lead doesn't float, but in that situation it will flutter it's way downstream as if it were floating. The same rule applies to a soft plastic bait with a hook that in other situations would cause the bait to sink.

River levels (CFS) and river current are outside the scope of this article and both can look totally different from one river to the next and even one hole to the next, even if the flows are exactly the same. Width of a river, depth, the grade of it, etc. all play a role in how strong the current is and how it will effect your baits flotation.

That said, a good rule to follow is to match the bait to the water you are fishing and match the hook to the bait your using. This is a general guideline that works well, so long as you also take into account the size of fish you are targeting. We'll address how to choose the right bait in another article.

God Bless,

Jeff Warner
XFactor Tackle



Joe Kusnersyk
Date: 7/9/2013
Can you Please send me a sample or two? Thank you,
Jeff - XFactor Tackle
Date: 7/9/2013
Hey Joe, If you want to try a different color or size we would be happy to send samples along with an existing order. With shipping costs continuing to go up, we just can't afford to ship samples all on their own anymore. Thank you for your understanding.

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